Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Childrens Felting at Knit-Wise

These are the words that accompany my husband's visits to the Lake District - walking, fresh air, fells, hiking, deep breaths, bracing, pub.  These are mine - sitting, log fires, hot chocolate, shopping, reading the paper, pub.

At least there is one thing we agree on and I suppose that's all you need. We spent a couple of hours at the Wainwright pub somewhere in the Lakes and a lovely mooch around Chesters by the River at Skelwith bridge. And we did see a deer, in it's natural habitat as it bounded through the bracken to escape us and the dog.  The dog did try to do a deer impression by bounding too, it lasted about 30 seconds on account of her big fat belly. I had my camera round my neck, but was so amazed at seeing a deer in it's natural habitat I didn't photograph it.  What a fool!

Here is a picture of my daughter looking suspiciously superimposed on the image but it is true, and it gives an idea of the different greens you can see at this time of year.  We had decided to do a sample of greens in our sketchbooks (get us), but the cold rock we were sitting on was pile inducing so we moved on.

Today we spent the morning felting at Knit-Wise in Ormskirk with a motley crew of  6 children.  Fun seemed to be had by all and then a lie down was needed by anyone over 21.

The felt that the children made was really good.  I was impressed with their ability and they went away with a new set of skills to carry on at home.

We used hand dyed fibres for todays class and because of the dyes in the fibres, the children were able to mix the colours which gave a wonderful effect. At one point there was felting, knitting, colouring and beading going on at the same time which obviously had been planned by the children to keep us adults on our toes but we survived.  Sometimes we even gave the impression that we were in control.

Here's one of the finished items, with embellishment!

I think this is wonderful, probably one of the best pieces of felt that I have seen in a long, long time  Who did it?  Oh, my neice!

See you soon x

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Fame on sfeltaccessories blog!

Now we're all settled in to our new place and our friends are settled into the boat for the winter, I can get back onto more pressing matters - spinning!

Ann at sfeltaccessories has featured me in her blog.  I feel really honoured!  Take a look here -

Thanks Ann!

So here's what I've been up to:

I've finished some chunky spinning, I'd tried to do an eliza dye lot which is pictured first here, and in the middle of dyeing I realised one of my dyes was missing (I later found that I'd dropped it in the studio (shed)).  I went ahead with it anyway and it just shows you how different the dye lot turns out.
I realise that that is quite an obvious statement seeing as one of the dyes wasn't there!  Anyway although I was a little bit unsure of the new dye at first, I'm really pleased now it's all done.  The knitters at the knit'n'natter gave it the thumbs up and they are a very honest bunch.

Here it is in the pot

And here is the finished yarn in all its glory

I think I'll be using this particular yarn in the new beret kit.  It'll be nice to have an option of shades.
And this is what's on the bobbin at the moment, a lovely lilac/navy which I'm spinning thinly. This enables me to watch Strictly at the same time.

I've started from this week writing the blog for Knit-Wise, so I'll be trying my best not to get the two confused, have a look over there too if you want to see what's going on at our lys!

Off to the Lakes tomorrow, which is a sure sign for rain!


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

World Record Attempt

Here's the information about the world record attempt, very kindly left by Misty Cottage Crafts on the comments. The info is from

We're Record Breakers!
Well, to be more precise Ruth is a Guinness World Record breaker.

On the 23rd of September Ruth set the record for the worlds longest continuous thread spun in an hour. Coming in at 99.45m this was verified by the official adjudicator and Ruth was presented with the official Guinness Certificate.

The thread was a 2-ply yarn made of Shetland fleece, entirely prepared and spun by hand. We're all wondering what's next, and with winter looming on the horizon it just may have to be the worlds longest scarf! Congratulations!

Thanks Misty for letting us know.

Monday, 3 October 2011

New Dyes and Moving House

I heard on the weather report that despite having some beautiful weather over the last few days, the North West is going to feel the effects of a hurricane coming over from the USA so I'm trying to get some dyeing done and drying before the weather turns.

There's a lot of teal about at the moment and it is a colour that I wouldn't normally wear but my friend Lenka bought me a lovely scarf and it completely changed my mind about it.  It's worth having someone elses opinion when it comes to colour, we can so easily get stuck in a rut over what colours suit us that we don't keep experimenting.

So, here's the latest dyes from my cauldrons - a teal, blue mix.  They are still in the pans while I'm posting and it does look like the teal has taken slightly lighter than I thought it would, but it's hard to tell at this stage.

I did a couple of experimental dyes last week, normally I'm a chuck it in and see kind of dyer (that's part of the appeal for me) but I mixed this particular dye in a jug before had to see if I liked the way it took.  It's a much gentle dye which I like and I think it has took in a more consistant way.  See what you think. The other one is my usual method and a much stronger dye with purples and blues.  Both of these fibres, which are Blueface Leicester are on my Etsy page, so if they are up your street, why not take a look.

I've been trying to find out the result of the World Record attempt in handspinning and can't find anything at all so if anyone knows any news can you let me know, I'd be very interested.

I'm also in the process of putting together a kit for the D'arcy Spice beret, so it's been photographed again here and will shortly be available on Etsy too.

It does seem weird with everything being so mild at the moment that cold weather is due for the end of the week - even frost, so with that in mind we have decided to move off the boat over the winter.  This is the view down our path at the moment

It's only October and already we are struggling with the mud, so we will be moving slowly over to a little rented house about 5 minutes away to avoid another freezing cold winter. We have friends (who are tougher than us) who are moving into the boat and taking care of our hens and duck so everything there will carry on as normal. 

It will be a novelty to have a washing machine - just there!  And a bath whenever we want, but I know we will miss the wildlife (saw a Cormorant this morning) and the peace and the freedom.  Still, can't have everything!  And they'll be pleased that I won't be treading mud through Knit-Wise anymore!!

See you soon